Antipsychotic drug prescriptions for children are skyrocketing, in spite of the fact that they cause irreparable harm to developing brains and bodies and shorten lifespan when used long term. When market forces rather than science drives mental health care, children are placed in grave danger.
This book exposes the skyrocketing rate of antipsychotic drug prescriptions for children, identifies grave dangers when children's mental health care is driven by market forces, describes effective therapeutic care for children typically prescribed antipsychotics, and explains how to navigate a drug-fueled mental health system.
Since 2001, there has been a dramatic increase in the use of antipsychotics to treat children for an ever-expanding list of symptoms. The prescription rate for toddlers, preschoolers, and middle-class children has doubled, while the prescribing rate for low-income children covered by Medicaid has quadrupled. In a majority of cases, these drugs are neither FDA-approved nor justified by research for the children's conditions.
This book examines the reasons behind the explosion of antipsychotic drug prescriptions for children, spotlighting the historical and cultural factors as well as the role of the pharmaceutical industry in this trend; and discusses the ethical and legal responsibilities and ramifications for non-MDs?psychologists in particular?who work with children treated with antipsychotics.
Contributors explain how the pharmaceutical industry has inserted itself into every step of medical education, rendering objectivity in the scientific understanding, use, and approvals of such drugs impossible. The text describes the relentless marketing behind the drug sales, even going as far as to provide coloring and picture books for children related to the drug at issue. Valuable information about legal recourse that families and therapists can take when their children or patients have been harmed by antipsychotic drugs and alternative approaches to working with children with emotional and behavioral challenges is also provided.
Brent Dean Robbins, PhD, is associate professor of psychology and director of the psychology program at Point Park University, Pittsburgh, PA. He is editor-in-chief of Janus Head: Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature; Continental Philosophy; and Phenomenological Psychology, and a recipient of the American Psychological Association's Harmi Carari Early Career Award. Robbins is Member-at-Large and conference coordinator for Division 32 of the American Psychological Association, and also editor of the Division's blog. His published research includes mixed method investigations of emotion, embodiment, and the medicalization of the body in contemporary Western culture, with particular attention to the implications of these findings for the treatment of mental illness.
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